Zero Footprint
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We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
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Soil as Our Salvation

Soil as Our Salvation | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The carbon-capturing abilities of dirt will be the main subject at the International Soil Not Oil Conference in Richmond California this weekend

 Why is soil so important? Both humans and animals depend on it almost exclusively for food. The fiber that clothes and shelters us is grown in it, as well as the fuels that power our cars and heat our homes.
The Earth stores carbon, or carbon sinks as they are called, in three major places: the atmosphere, the ocean, and the soil. The first two are reaching saturation.  Most of us understand the effect increased carbon — in the form of greenhouse gases — is having in our atmosphere. And oceans around the world are experiencing unusual die-offs due to acidification from increased carbon absorbed in the waters.

The Soil Not Oil Conference will be looking at Regenerative Agriculture as a local solution to this global problem. Through permaculture techniques, such as no-till farming, composting, planned grazing, and cover crops, farmers can see higher yields with less chemical inputs while increasing their soil’s fertility and capturing more carbon in it. Carbon Farming it is called. These and other techniques can also help the ground retain water more efficiently. We can reduce the levels of carbon in the atmosphere while producing healthier foods, combat the drought, aid farmers, and reverse climate change!

 
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Storing carbon in soil through regenerative agriculture will probably not be enough by itself.  Of course we need to also shut down the fossil fuel industry as soon as possible, and recycle 100% of the resources we extract from the earth.  And we need to go further than that, to remove excess carbon from the atmosphere and oceans. Regenerative agriculture is part of the solution.  Restoring grasslands and forests is another essential part.  Restoring the oceans might be the most difficult task.

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SOIL CARBON COWBOYS

Meet Allen Williams, Gabe Brown and Neil Dennis - heroes and innovators! These ranchers now know how to regenerate their soils while making their animals healthier and their operations more profitable. They are turning ON their soils, enabling rainwater to sink into the earth rather than run off. And these turned ON soils retain that water, so the ranches are much more resilient in drought. It's an amazing story that has just begun.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

This is about raising cattle in a way that grasslands have coevolved to depend upon, except with bison instead.  While we don't really need to eat much meat, what little we do eat should be raised in a way that contributes to the environment rather than takes away from it.  It seems clear we can actually improve our grassland soils while sequestering more carbon, by working with nature rather than fighting it.  

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The Solution Is the Soil: How Organic Farming Can Feed the World and Save the Planet

The Solution Is the Soil: How Organic Farming Can Feed the World and Save the Planet | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Just over a week ago, the executive director of the Rodale Institute, Mark 'Coach' Smallwood, set out from the group's research farm in eastern Pennsylvania on a 160-mile journey to Washington, DC with a walking stick, a brimmed hat, and a simple but profound message: We can not only stop climate change. We can reverse it.

 

"There is a technology for massive planetary geoengineering that is tried and tested and available for widespread dissemination right now. It costs little and is adaptable to local contexts the world over. It can be rolled out tomorrow providing multiple benefits beyond climate stabilization. The solution is farming. Not just business-as-usual industrial farming, but farming like the Earth matters. Farming like water and soil and land matter. Farming like clean air matters. Farming like human health, animal health and ecosystem health matters. Farming in a way that restores and even improves on soil’s natural ability to hold carbon."

 

The concept that is most critical to understand about what Rodale's research, explained Smallwood recently, "Is that we're not talking about slowing things down. We're talking about the capability of regenerative organic agriculture being able to actually reverse and draw down the excesses" of carbon and other greenhouse gases that are now overwhelming the capacity of the planet's atmosphere.

 

"We don’t have to wait for technological wizardry," reads the report, "regenerative organic agriculture can substantially mitigate climate change, now."

 

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We *can* reverse climate change, and we *must* do so.  But we need to push in this direction as well as all the rest, because the sooner the better, and all efforts will meet with resistance.  

 

We also need to shut down the entire fossil fuel industry, and replace it with 100% renewable energy. We need to shift our economy to account for 100% of inputs and outputs, so we can recycle 100% of our resources with 0 waste.  We need to restore our forests and grasslands, repair the oceans and all biohabitats as soon as we possibly can, and it can't be soon enough because we are already way behind.

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